Emmaus couldn’t have asked for a better start when it opened up last week’s District 11 Class 3A boys lacrosse championship with a quick 3-0 lead over top-seeded Parkland. The only thing Hornet head coach Scott Ketchum thought might have deterred his team was that the Hornets might have gotten a bit complacent.
Parkland quickly tied the game at 3-3 minutes later. And after two 30-minute weather delays in the first half, the No. 1 seeded Trojans eventually captured their first district title with a 15-9 win over Emmaus at Lehigh University last Thursday.
Parkland opened Monday’s district girls’ lacrosse semifinal game with two goals in two minutes. But Emmaus, which lost to the Trojans to end its regular season by a 14-2 final score, proved this time would be much more competitive.
Despite a hard-fought effort with a short-handed team that was missing four starters, the end result was the same.
Emmaus rallied from the early two-goal deficit and even led by a goal late in the second half. But Parkland, coming off an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship last week, had too much firepower offensively.
Emmaus girls lacrosse head coach Roxann Betz understood how big of a challenge it would be to take down No. 2 seeded Easton last Thursday in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals.
Not only did the Hornets suffer one of their two league losses to the Red Rovers last month, Emmaus was playing without two of its top players this time around.
Offense was the focal point of their first matchup when Emmaus and Parkland combined to score 25 goals in the Hornets’ one-goal victory.
Offense was once again on full display on Monday, at least for one of those teams.
Parkland dominated from the opening whistle to avenge last month’s 13-12 defeat to their rivals. The Trojans (9-1 in EPC, 14-4 overall) scored eight goals in the first 25 minutes, took a 9-0 lead early in the second half, and closed out a 14-2 victory over Emmaus (8-2 , 13-5) at Parkland High School.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference might have just witnessed a shift in power across the top of the volleyball standings.
Over the previous two seasons, Parkland and Emmaus have usually been the top two teams. Parkland had not lost to a league opponent in 2015 or 2016. The Hornets’ only regular season losses to an EPC opponent over that time came against Parkland.
None of the current Emmaus girls varsity lacrosse players had beaten Parkland in any of the previous three years. The Hornets had not beaten the Trojans in girls lacrosse in much longer than that, and most of the outcomes hadn’t been close on the scoreboard.
But in the first meeting between the two schools of 2017, that streak came to an end.
Emmaus stayed undefeated in league play and beat Parkland for the first time since 2009. The Hornets got a team-high four goals from senior Maddy Dorn in Saturday’s 13-12 victory at Memorial Field.
All-star games are meant to be fun for the players and entertaining for crowds. After a high school basketball season that saw plenty of local teams reach the state tournament, Saturday’s Via All-Star Basketball Classic was a refreshing ending for many senior players’ careers.
Dan Wessner is about to embark on his second season in charge of the Emmaus boys and girls track and field teams. He’ll be doing so, however, without a number of key distance runners who had become the face of the Hornets’ track and field program in recent years.
The list of Hornet boys that Wessner lost to graduation includes Ryan Paradise, Greg Jaindl and Jake Feiertag, all of whom are running in college. Those three, along with Kyle Kleinberg, guided Emmaus to a silver medal at districts in the 4x800 relay.
Emmaus finishing in the top five at states this season wasn’t necessarily a surprise; it’s the fourth straight year, all under head coach Peter Chromiak, that the Hornet rifle team has finished in the top five.
But placing second as a team might have been a bit unexpected as that was the their top finish in over a decade.
Emmaus secured silver with a team score of 973, only behind champion Woodland Hills, which scored a 978.
Meredith Sylvia, now a senior at Central Catholic High School, remembers when she committed to continue her gymnastics career at Auburn University. She was just entering her freshman year of high school.
So, after much anticipation and years of excitement, the time of her competing at the collegiate level is only months away. But before she leaves the confines of the Lehigh Valley for the Southeast, there is some unfinished business for Sylvia.